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To learn to speak Darija, you’ll have to learn the sentence structure in Darija. In this post we shall start with the Darija simple sentences. Most of the structures in Darija are interchangeable such as subject+verb and verb+subject.
When a pronoun is the subject, it is usually omitted from the sentence. This way we get a sentence without a subject. We understand whom we’re talking about from the verb conjugation. Therefore, verb conjugation indicates the subject, gender and number.
Going (sing masc future) n-(1st p) continue.
I am going to continue.
Going (sing masc future) t-(2nd p) continue.
You are going to continue.
Going (3rd p sing fem future) t-(3rd p fem) continue.
She is going to continue.
The subject usually comes first in the Darija simple sentence. Therefore, this structure is most common in Darija.
Brahim read (3rd p sing masc present).
Brahim is reading.
El 3ummal tay7tajju.
The workers protest (3rd p pl masc present).
The workers are protesting.
The action here is more important than the doer/subject. This structure is less common than the former.
Go, leave(3rd p sing masc past) Karim.
Karim has left.
This is the most commonly used structure by most Moroccans in simple sentences.
Saloua klat toffa7a.
Saloua eat(3rd p sing fem past) an apple.
Saloua ate an apple.
Like the verb only sentence, the subject here is a pronoun. No need to say ‘howa 9ra lktab‘,in English ‘He read(past) the book‘. The sentence ‘9ra lktab’ is well understood by Moroccans.
Read (1st p sing masc past) the book.
I read the book.
This structure is rarely used; use it only when the action is more important that the doer/subject.
Klat ettoffa7a Saloua.
Eat (3rd p sing fem past) the apple Saloua.
Saloua ate the apple.
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Subject + verb + object + indirect object
In Darija as in English, we add the preposition l ‘to’ before the indirect object.
Hmed 36a ktabu lKhadija.
Hmed gave(3rd p sing masc) book-u(his) to Khadija.
Hmed gave his book to Khadija.
Verb + object + indirect object
When the subject is a pronoun, we drop it even in this kind of sentences.
Sif6at weldha lmedrasa.
Sent(3rd p sing fem) son-ha(her) to school.
She took her son to school.
Showed(1st p sing)-u(him) the book.
I showed him the book.
Verb + adverb
Arrived(1st p pl) early.
We arrived early.
Verb (prepositional) + object + adverb
Wselna lrbat bekri.
Arrived(1st p pl) to Rabat early.
We arrived at Rabat early.
Subject + subject complement (Verbless sentence)
Generally, the verb ‘to be’ in the Darija present tense is dropped; therefore, we get a verbless sentence.
The girl beautiful.
The girl is beautiful.
My brother teacher.
My brother is a teacher.
Note: There is no need for the verb to be when it is conjugated in the present.
Subject + verb + subject complement
When the verb ‘to be’ is conjugated in the Darija past tense, we keep it.
Khuya kan mu3allim.
My brother was(3rd p sing masc) teacher.
My brother was a teacher.
Note: We do need the verb to be when it is conjugated in the past or the future.
Verb + subject complement + subject
Tatban zwina dik lbent.
Looks(3rd p sing fem) beautiful that the girl.
That girl looks beautiful.
That is it for the simple sentences in Darija. If you have any questions, please leave them in the comments below.